the milestones, they are a-fallin'

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the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby letsgobobby » Wed May 08, 2013 5:36 pm

Having never participated in a bull market before now, this is an unfamiliar feeling. Various personal financial milestones, round numbers, whatever, they scream into the rear-view mirror every way I turn. Threads pop up about rebalancing with charitable donations, what happens if you hit your number and keep working, how does 100% stocks sound, should I borrow against my house to invest, etc.

I'm finding it utterly nerve-wracking. I actually think I like bear markets better.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby livesoft » Wed May 08, 2013 5:37 pm

Check out what the S&P500 did in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. That should scare you. Not.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Blues » Wed May 08, 2013 5:38 pm

letsgobobby wrote:how does 100% stocks sound, should I borrow against my house to invest, etc.


No!
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby JDaniels » Wed May 08, 2013 5:44 pm

Blues wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:how does 100% stocks sound, should I borrow against my house to invest, etc.


No!


+1

Stick with your plan.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby The Wizard » Wed May 08, 2013 6:17 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Having never participated in a bull market before now, this is an unfamiliar feeling. Various personal financial milestones, round numbers, whatever, they scream into the rear-view mirror every way I turn. Threads pop up about rebalancing with charitable donations, what happens if you hit your number and keep working, how does 100% stocks sound, should I borrow against my house to invest, etc...

A few have misinterpreted.
"Bobby" isn't saying this is his idea, he's saying others, not presently "in the market" are causing consternation.
I tend to agree, but I've seen it all before.
I successfully moved $8K out of stocks today and into my HY bond fund, so I'm having an adult beverage to celebrate.
Others should ponder their rebalancing plans as well...
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby letsgobobby » Wed May 08, 2013 6:18 pm

I'm rebalancing out of stocks and into an expensive sushi dinner on Saturday. My wife thinks it's solely for Mother's Day - that's part of it.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby livesoft » Wed May 08, 2013 6:20 pm

And I'm saying that perhaps momentum will carry things to an out-of-band rebalancing point. I wonder if some folks are just rebalancing out of equities because things are at an all-time high (according to media reports) and not because they have reached a rebalancing point according to their IPS.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby The Wizard » Wed May 08, 2013 6:28 pm

livesoft wrote:And I'm saying that perhaps momentum will carry things to an out-of-band rebalancing point. I wonder if some folks are just rebalancing out of equities because things are at an all-time high (according to media reports) and not because they have reached a rebalancing point according to their IPS.

I see almost the opposite happening: folks proposing to put substantial new $$ into equities now that they're up again.
As for myself, my rebalancing is due in part to my employment termination two months ago -- no more new contribs to counterbalance the continuing uptick in stocks.
:(
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Blues » Wed May 08, 2013 6:28 pm

livesoft wrote:And I'm saying that perhaps momentum will carry things to an out-of-band rebalancing point. I wonder if some folks are just rebalancing out of equities because things are at an all-time high (according to media reports) and not because they have reached a rebalancing point according to their IPS.


Good point...one never knows, do one? Thankfully, I've salted away sufficient "safe" assets that I can afford to let it ride up to the next rebalancing band.

Of course, there's no guarantee it gets there before we might have to TLH but this market has already called for rebalancing along the way so...spin the wheel!
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby investingdad » Wed May 08, 2013 9:35 pm

I'm 39 and have eighteen years of investing under my belt. All of it has been spent in mutual funds

The 11% gain in my portfolio since January 1 is a little nerve wracking. I did move from 9 to 15 bond allocation in April because it seemed like it was about time to do so.

The idiotic reports about people jumping into equities are popping up with increased frequency. Maybe we pull back and maybe we don't.

I've learned to smile and just make my monthly contribution on the first of each month.

Oh, and sushi rocks.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby baw703916 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:51 pm

Blues wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:how does 100% stocks sound, should I borrow against my house to invest, etc.


No!


Been there, done that (in 2003, 2004, 2008). It worked out reasonably well, overall. Just don't get overextended--also, it works better if the market has just dropped 50%, not the case currently.

I'm not going to do this again, though--the amount that it would be reasonable to borrow against my house wouldn't make much difference, unlike in 2003.

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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby bayview » Wed May 08, 2013 10:07 pm

The Wizard wrote:I see almost the opposite happening: folks proposing to put substantial new $$ into equities now that they're up again.
As for myself, my rebalancing is due in part to my employment termination two months ago -- no more new contribs to counterbalance the continuing uptick in stocks.
:(

Very sorry to read that. We're processing that little surprise ourselves. Suddenly in the independent contractor scramble mode. :shock:
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Watty » Wed May 08, 2013 10:10 pm

I actually think I like bear markets better.


If you are still in the accumulation phase then you should.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby staythecourse » Wed May 08, 2013 10:15 pm

Since I'm only 36 and have a life span of about another 40 some years (20+ before even considering drawing out from the investments) I don't care if they are up, down, or sideways.

In the end equities always end up so that is all I care about.

I will and have hit milestones quickly and must say all it has done is make me more aggressive. Figure my wife and I will never be able to spend the money we will have in our lives so my time horizon is now my baby daughter's (she is 8months old so that makes it about 60+ yrs) and for philanthropy.

Good luck.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby letsgobobby » Wed May 08, 2013 10:25 pm

staythecourse wrote:
I will and have hit milestones quickly and must say all it has done is make me more aggressive.

I think you've made my point precisely. As your need for risk goes down, why is your appetite for risk going up?
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby staythecourse » Wed May 08, 2013 10:38 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
staythecourse wrote:
I will and have hit milestones quickly and must say all it has done is make me more aggressive.

I think you've made my point precisely. As your need for risk goes down, why is your appetite for risk going up?


As I stated my ability to take risk went up (won't use all my money in my lifetime) and my willingness went up (would want more money to do charitable stuff (would love to start and charitable endowment fund or something like that and/ or for heirs). My need has gone down, but as mentioned the other 2 have changed the other way.

Also, fundamentally I see investing in equities as the best investment for any long time horizon vs. fixed income no matter what my balance sheet says. I find equities the safer investment over a 20-50 yr. time horizon then just going, "okay I don't need the money so I will just get conservative just for the sake of just doing it". That is why I am not too susceptible to bear markets including 2008 as I truly do believe in equity markets as the best play I can make for myself over the long run.

Good luck.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Random Musings » Wed May 08, 2013 11:27 pm

At a Shiller PE of 24 and change, I would not increase equity exposure. For some investors, the higher markets may have triggered rebalancing bands already.

Expected return range at current Shiller PE as brought up by Larry S. in a different thread is not compelling enough to increase equity exposure, even with current dismal bond rates. Sometimes, it's just better to stand there are do nothing (except follow your written investment plan).

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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby zed » Thu May 09, 2013 7:50 am

The Wizard wrote:
livesoft wrote:And I'm saying that perhaps momentum will carry things to an out-of-band rebalancing point. I wonder if some folks are just rebalancing out of equities because things are at an all-time high (according to media reports) and not because they have reached a rebalancing point according to their IPS.

I see almost the opposite happening: folks proposing to put substantial new $$ into equities now that they're up again.
As for myself, my rebalancing is due in part to my employment termination two months ago -- no more new contribs to counterbalance the continuing uptick in stocks.
:(


Wiz,

Am seeing the same phenomenon of folks pouring "idle" cash into equities. In many cases these were folks who sold low at the bottom of the crash. Now they are buying high. :confused

Also employment wise am anticipating that "tap on the shoulder" (i.e. RIF) I think this qualifies as a milestone too.

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Last edited by zed on Thu May 09, 2013 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby MnD » Thu May 09, 2013 7:56 am

Were it not for the business cycle and subsequent volatility in the markets, stocks would be hitting record highs every day of every year.
I know many people that are still on the sidelines and quite a few that are invested but so damaged by the last two cycles that they are positive that ~50% decline in equities is right around the corner and are taking poorly thought out defensive actions. As tempting as it is to "do something" in response to recent gains, it's best to do nothing unless your IPS indicates something like re-balancing AND your investments have actually met the criteria to do so. I have not gone outside my rebalancing bands and my IPS says make glidepath adjustments on my birthday - so no actions for me.......
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 09, 2013 8:18 am

John Bogle: "Don't just do something, stand there!"
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 09, 2013 8:31 am

Don't know - see a big disconnect between the market highs and real life. The only thing I like right now are international equities - the cheapest of the lot "for obvious reasons".
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby am » Thu May 09, 2013 9:57 am

Are not commodity futures and precious metals near recent lows?
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby momar » Thu May 09, 2013 10:03 am

It certainly is pretty exciting to see, for a few days in a row, my portfolio balance go up by an amount similar to my monthly contributions.

But yeah, I haven't hit a rebalancing band yet.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby otbricki » Thu May 09, 2013 10:20 am

I sympathize with the OP, although I'm seen this before. I'm 3 years away from retirement and the idea of a blowoff crash like we had two of in the past decade is pretty scary at this point in my life. I have a distinct urge to drop my equity allocation by 10-15 points.

I didn't mind the volatility when I was accumulating because I could see how it actually generated better returns than a linear increase. But now it's a different story.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby scone » Thu May 09, 2013 10:27 am

I'm finding it utterly nerve-wracking. I actually think I like bear markets better.

I can totally relate. This is my first bull market. I just finished rebalancing from a couple of percent beyond my band, back into the low end of my band. I know this is supposed to be a good thing, but it didn't feel good. I have seen several articles titled something like, "this is the most hated rally in history." Myself, I don't hate it, exactly, but I don't trust it-- zero trust. Still, I have to stay invested in stocks if I want to stay ahead of inflation, as bonds alone don't get the job done. :(
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby momar » Thu May 09, 2013 10:28 am

It gives me comfort to see how scared/distrustful of the rally people are. We've still got some ways to go, hopefully.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby The Wizard » Thu May 09, 2013 10:39 am

momar wrote:It gives me comfort to see how scared/distrustful of the rally people are. We've still got some ways to go, hopefully.

No reason to be either of the above. Valuations aren't all that high; we're not in a bubble.
Just need to manage your risk by keeping your equity exposure under control.
I find it to be rather easy to do this...
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 09, 2013 12:00 pm

Let's say an investor has $100,000, half in stocks and half in bonds:

$50k stocks
$50k bonds

Over a short period of time, stocks go up 50%, and bonds don't change, and all new contributions go to bonds, leaving the investor:

$75k stocks
$75k bonds

Is his risk higher, lower, or the same compared to before?
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby The Wizard » Thu May 09, 2013 12:47 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Let's say an investor has $100,000, half in stocks and half in bonds:

$50k stocks
$50k bonds

Over a short period of time, stocks go up 50%, and bonds don't change, and all new contributions go to bonds, leaving the investor:

$75k stocks
$75k bonds

Is his risk higher, lower, or the same compared to before?

Interesting question.
I would say his risk is now higher to the extent that period of time was short.
To put it another way, if his stocks went up 50% in five YEARS, then his risk hasn't likely changed much.
(This ignores any specific company risk...)
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Random Musings » Thu May 09, 2013 1:13 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Let's say an investor has $100,000, half in stocks and half in bonds:

$50k stocks
$50k bonds

Over a short period of time, stocks go up 50%, and bonds don't change, and all new contributions go to bonds, leaving the investor:

$75k stocks
$75k bonds

Is his risk higher, lower, or the same compared to before?


With this limited information, you can't tell. What happens if this occurred in 1929 or 1999? Did the extra money go into bonds with a different risk profile than what he had before? Lots of variables to consider.

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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby MoonOrb » Thu May 09, 2013 1:22 pm

letsgobobby wrote:I'm finding it utterly nerve-wracking. I actually think I like bear markets better.


You might consider checking in on the market only once every 3-4 months or so to see if it's time to rebalance. The market will go up sometimes and the market will go down sometimes--one of the benefits of having and sticking to a plan is that you feel less nerve-wracked. So, stay the course and think about ending any addiction to market news/market discussion if it's so stressful you describe it as "utterly nerve-wracking."
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby The Wizard » Thu May 09, 2013 1:36 pm

MoonOrb wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:I'm finding it utterly nerve-wracking. I actually think I like bear markets better.


You might consider checking in on the market only once every 3-4 months or so to see if it's time to rebalance. The market will go up sometimes and the market will go down sometimes--one of the benefits of having and sticking to a plan is that you feel less nerve-wracked. So, stay the course and think about ending any addiction to market news/market discussion if it's so stressful you describe it as "utterly nerve-wracking."

There are helpful MEDICATIONS to deal with the nerve-wracking if it's really bad.
But I wouldn't hide in the sand for 3-4 months at a stretch right now. Too much to monitor to make sure your stock allocation doesn't get too high before the next crash...
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 09, 2013 1:42 pm

coincident with various milestones or market highs, an investor could find himself suddenly needing to take less risk than anticipated. So that could trigger a change in asset allocation, even if a rebalancing band hasn't been hit, without violating fundamental Boglehead principles.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby The Wizard » Thu May 09, 2013 1:57 pm

letsgobobby wrote:coincident with various milestones or market highs, an investor could find himself suddenly needing to take less risk than anticipated. So that could trigger a change in asset allocation, even if a rebalancing band hasn't been hit, without violating fundamental Boglehead principles.

This has been discussed in one or more other threads.
"Suddenly" is a key word above and doesn't often happen in real life, aside from Market Timing.
Just because your portfolio has passed $2.0M, for example, is no reason for a bridge-jumping response.
Only exception might be for a newly converted investor who realizes his 90% equity exposure is too high and is moving to a lower percentage as part of the learning experience...
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby MoonOrb » Thu May 09, 2013 2:36 pm

I'm just saying if you're utterly nervewracked, you might not want to immerse yourself in market discussion and market news constantly. The likelihood that an event occurs where you MUST rebalance your portfolio RIGHT NOW seems really slim. I don't even know if such an event exists, really?

I think a lot of people are really into the drama of the markets. That's cool. I enjoy watching them and discussing them, too. But maybe it's not a healthy place to be if you're utterly nervewracked--that phrase suggests some meaningful negative impact on your mental health.

If what you really mean is "actually I'm not utterly nervewracked at all, I was just being superdramatic about this whole thing because I love being caught up in the day to day drama of the market," then my suggestion to step away is meaningless to you. But if you're actually saying "I'm utterly nervewracked," you might want to consider the benefits to your mental health and peace and mind that you'll reap by not paying attention to this stuff so much; checking in 3-4 times a year will still allow you to sufficiently monitor your portfolio responsibly.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby TRC » Thu May 09, 2013 2:50 pm

Tune out the noise and stick to your plan.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby MnD » Thu May 09, 2013 3:00 pm

Way to kill the rally with this thread! :(
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 09, 2013 3:05 pm

MnD wrote:Way to kill the rally with this thread! :(

if only! Then I could buy more shares at lower prices.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby diasurfer » Thu May 09, 2013 3:23 pm

It's with great satisfaction that I report that I have not checked my balance as the market has reached new highs. I'll check it at my next quarterly rebalance date. It took me a little over 10 years of investing to reach this point.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 09, 2013 6:06 pm

The bearish attitudes of many in this thread toward the market lead me to strongly believe the market is not yet reached its peak.

I'm waiting for my plumber's prediction on market direction before making a final determination. :)
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby lightheir » Thu May 09, 2013 6:55 pm

I'm still relatively young, but I feel I've learned my Bogle philosophy and lessons well.

I dont' care one bit about whether the market's up a lot, a little, or not at all anymore, and haven't cared for years. Ok, I cared slightly when the market tanked recently, but I cured myself of that quickly by reminding myself that I'm in this for the long haul, like decades to come. Didn't make any changes in my long-term plan, and have been rewarded for it, both with peace of mind and with simpliclity and consistent returns over the long haul.

Although I can understand how folks imminently about to liquidate assets, such as for the retirement years, might care a lot more about the market.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 09, 2013 9:00 pm

HardKnocker wrote:The bearish attitudes of many in this thread toward the market lead me to strongly believe the market is not yet reached its peak.

I'm waiting for my plumber's prediction on market direction before making a final determination. :)


When my barber or shoe-shine boy starts giving me stock tips again :o , I'll know to re-balance before the closing bell.
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Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 09, 2013 9:26 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:When my barber or shoe-shine boy starts giving me stock tips again :o , I'll know to re-balance before the closing bell.


A sure sign "the end" is near. :sharebeer
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